Gateway High Student Awarded $330,000 Scholarship

Gateway High Student Awarded $330,000 Scholarship
Posted on 01/11/2024
Gateway High Student Awarded $330,000 Scholarship

Xavier Banos likes to push himself. First, it was honors and Cambridge/AICE classes in high school. When he didn’t think they were hard enough, he was accepted into the Collegiate Academy at Gateway High School to take his classes at Florida Gulf Coast University. His next challenge after graduation is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“With my interests in mathematics and physics, I plan to complete some type of graduate degree and potentially a doctorate,” Xavier said. “I wish to enter academia, whether as a professor or researcher.”

To Make MIT possible, Xavier is the recipient of one of, if not the largest single scholarship to a School District senior. QuestBridge will cover the entire four years of his tuition, housing, food, books, supplies and travel. The scholarship is valued at $330,000.

“I seriously had not expected to get into any of the ten schools that I ranked,” Xavier said. “So, to see that I got into my first choice was surreal. In my mind I was constantly saying ‘this has to be a mistake, there is no way that they just offered me this scholarship.’ I just checked the portal again, and my confirmation of acceptance is still there.”

QuestBridge is a national nonprofit that connects high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education and further life opportunities. This year’s scholarship recipients have an average unweighted GPA of 3.94, and 93% are in the top 10% of their graduating class. Around 92% come from a household with an annual income under $65,000, and 82% are first generation college students.

“We are thrilled to welcome a historic number of QuestBridge Scholars,” said Ana Rowena Mallari, Co-Founder and CEO of QuestBridge. “These Scholars will bring a depth of thought and range of experiences to our college partner campuses that will surely enrich their new communities.”

Xavier says he feels ready for the challenge at MIT, and he hopes it will inspire his younger brother and sister to reach for similar heights. “I think everyone has a chance to get admitted into top colleges,” he says. “It is simply a matter of your perspective on your education and what you’re willing to do.”